State-Managed Disasters: Another Perspective


Also, I know that NEMA, through the response and recovery committee and the legislative committee, covered some of the issues and for lack of a better term“shortcomings” of the new state- led process — including how the New Delivery Model fits into that — at NEMA’s annual forum in Idaho in October 2019. NEMA looks to work with FEMA to seek solutions to these challenges to create elevated outcomes and continue an open dialogue with FEMA partners to help get to solutions to the complexities that many states are encountering.

Those two things are important: make sure they’re getting feedback from the states and don’t be afraid to make changes. Sometimes FEMA and the federal government can dig their heels in on certain things and I think we must recognize that some flexibility and willingness to fix problems is a good thing.

Andrews: From your perspective, what are some of the challenges states might experience with the State-Led Public Assistance Guide and implementing it on future disasters? And did you experience some of these challenges when you initiated the State-Led Public Assistance Program in North Dakota?

Schulz: Three challenges from a state- led perspective that come to mind are staffing, training and sustaining. We ran into those problems, certainly. I’ll call them “challenges” in North Dakota.